Honorary Life Member

Honorary Life Member

Honorary Life Member is the highest accolade that Water New Zealand can bestow on a member. The member enjoys the same rights and privileges as individual members, but they pay no annual subscription.

At its 2011 Annual General Meeting the members of Water New Zealand endorsed a motion by the Board to replace the separate Life and Honorary categories of membership with one category of Honorary Life Member.

Item 4(f) of the constitution reads:

An Honorary Life Member shall be a person who has been an Individual Member or the representative of a Corporate Member, and who has made a sustained and significant contribution to the Association. Honorary Life Members shall be nominated by the Board and shall be elected by a majority vote at a General Meeting.

Honorary Life Member Graeme Mills - Awarded in 2017

As Chair of the Backflow Special Interest Group for more than ten years until August this year, Graeme Mills has been particularly generous with his time, knowledge and skills.

Backflow is one of our more active and successful groups and much of that is because of the effort that Graeme has put in over the last decade.

During his time as Chair, the Backflow group developed a number of important initiatives including:

  • NZQA backflow testing standards 23847 and 23848.
  • The Backflow Code of Practice.
  • The New Zealand Industry Standard for field-testing backflow prevention devices and verification of Air gaps.
  • Organising numerous conferences throughout New Zealand.
  • Facilitating a large number of backflow forums in association with the local branches of Master plumbers throughout New Zealand.

Graeme began his career in the water sector working as a plumber, completing his apprenticeship in the 1960s under the old criteria of 6 years or 12,000 hours apprenticeship.

In the 1970s he spent 7 years at Auckland Maximum Security Prison, not as an inmate but as one of two maintenance plumbers.

It was during this time that he moved away from Plumbing and into the field of Water and Wastewater treatment and gained “C” grade in both of these fields under the Ministry of Works training scheme.

Following a period as plant operator with Cambridge Borough Council, Graeme moved to Mount Maunganui Borough Council as Water Overseer looking after five staff and maintaining the water supply network and water treatment plant operation.

In 1996 Graeme became a Network Technician with the Tauranga City Council managing the water quality programme protecting the public water network from contamination through a cross connection.

As a member of the Water Supply team at Tauranga City Council, he has led the charge of maintaining good water safety practise in the water network through the City’s backflow prevention programme; managing the approved contractors working on the live reticulation; responding to customer water quality issues and the like. Graeme retires in January but his work will live on in the excellent practises he has promoted in Tauranga and the wider water industry.

Honorary Life Members:



2017 Graeme Mills
2015 Robert Blakemore
2015 Bruce Porteous
2015 Raveen Jaduram
2014 Jan Gregor
2014 Cliff Tipler
2012 Margaret Devlin
2010 Garry Macdonald
2009 Anthony Wilson
2007 David Kettell
2007 Boyd Miller
2000 Jim Bradley
2000 Graeme Thacker
2000 Bert Gray
2000 Arthur Haughey
1999 David Cooper
1999 Graham McBride
1998 Howard Smith
1997 Jeff Booth
1996 Joe Gielen
1995 Michael Taylor
1995 Ian Gunn
1994 Denis Ferrier
1994 Mike Petricevich
1994 David Best
1993 John Fitzmaurice
1993 Graeme Leggat
1990 Don Cameron
1990 Brian Carlisle
1990 Richard Earle
1989 Iain MacBean
1989 David Ogilvie
1987 Bob Canham
1987 Keith Davis
1987 Len Spackman
1987 Charles Collom
1987 Colin Denmead
1987 Harry Cotton
1987 Frank Lowe
1986 Jack Knight
1985 Malcolm Edge
1983 Arch Campbell
1982 John Rowntree
1973 Jack Ralston
1963 Ron Hicks